Archives par mot-clef : culture

Reading, an illustration of the feminisation of cultural practices

For a long time dismissed from the scholarly world of books – it took them 350 years to enter the Academié Française, as Laure Adler and Stéphane Bollmann remind us in Les femmes qui lisent sont dangereuses (« Women who read are dangerous« ) – women have largely made up for their setback: today, they read on average 5 books more than men each year, and represent 53% of the market for novels.

Reading has become more and more of a feminine affair over the last thirty years: while essays, comics, science fiction and detective stories are by and large read by men, almost all of the other categories of books are bought by women as a majority. There are fewer women who never read, and amongst the French people who claim to read regularly, women read more books than men (INSEE 2005 <> ), all socio-professional categories and ages combined.

Tags : ,

TV content and identity construction in children

Sarah Alzieu

In the past, socialisation of young children only occurred in certain situations, including the family unit, at school and amongst peers. However, the increasing availability of television and internet access has changed this traditional pattern. Whereas children’s environments generally used to be controlled by parents and schools, nowadays children have unlimited access to media content. This development has brought about a number of concerns: the feeling of a loss of control could lead to potential media intrusion or invasion on daily life… Various groups have attempted to take control of this problem. For example, the European Council provides clear, standardised guidelines which allow guardians to control and avoid any potentially negative media influences on children. However, the amount of freedom that the small screen allows is still widely disputed and feared by the public.

Is Television an accessible resource or a threat to education? 

In recent years, the number of murders committed by teenagers has multiplied, and it is commonly believed that the killers may be influenced by excessive consumption of ultra-violent media content. This belief has been challenged by philosopher Marie-José Mondzain in his book « Can imagery kill?” In the book he disputes the idea that exposure to violent content can directly influence behaviour. This imitation theory is based on the assumption that teenagers have no ability to put information into context or the capacity to take information in any way other than imitating it. The fear of such images does not just concern video games, but almost every type of visual content, whether it is reality (TV news) or fiction (cartoons, advertising…). Children’s TV programs are therefore perceived as potentially dangerous.

Women and Wines of the World: An International Competition of Experts

For the past 8 years, this international contest submits the finest wines of the world to experts of oenology, vines, wines, but also to the oenophile general public, but also Media gastronomy and business professionals. The latest edition of the contest took place in Monaco in April 2013.

« Monaco, known for its international reputation was the favorite spot to host this major event, a mythical city and a source of international gastronomy » underlines Régine Le Coz, graduated oenologist, creator and initiator of five international contests in oenology. (1)

Cinema, a masculine world… but mainly frequented by women

Studies from the CNC (French National Centre of Cinematography) show that women go to the cinema more often than men: in 2010, they represented 53.9% of cinema-goers and 55% of unlimited access card holders (for only 51.8% of the French population). But it’s the films that are watched where we see the most striking difference: cinema remains very segmented according to gender…

First of all, men and women differ over the origin of the films they go to see. While both sexes claim to like American films, women see more French films (1% more) and much fewer non-European films (20% less).

Why is there such a difference? Notably because of their different influences when choosing the films. Men mostly rely on the media, while women have a social affinity with cinema that leads them to prefer films with actors or directors they know, or films that they’ve heard good things about (influence of word of mouth): as European and American films are the most viewed and commented on in France, its therefore toward those films that women turn. But the films present in the 2010 box office are practically all American.

Interview with Monique Grande, specialist in female personal development

Monique Grande is a writer and specialist coach for women who want to fulfill their potential and become the main players in their own lives again. For Womenology, she accepted to talk to us about her vision of women.

1. In your eyes, what are the main differences between male and female consumers? (In terms of the items they look for, their favourite brands, the way in which they make a decision, their behaviour once in the shop…)

The differences are first and foremost educational and cultural and the major lobbies exploit these issues of gender to the maximum. Messages that are aimed at male and female consumers therefore are considered carefully depending on the gender: in France we talk about the housewife’s shopping basket, never the househusband’s!
It seems that men prefer to acquire a precious object that’s able to seduce a woman, a car to add to his gadgets or a cutting-edge piece of technology for a super-fast connection.
Women, on the other hand, venture into the realm of compulsive shopping or they indulge in items to give to someone else.

2. What are women looking for through consumption?

Satisfaction through pleasure… Of course, they still are!
I would say that women who remain under the influence of an upbringing that consists of pleasing others and expecting to benefit from their charm, look for items that allow them to reveal their finery.
There are also compulsive enthusiasts who make up for things that might be missing from their life and they consume gluttonously without any hesitation!
For those who don’t feel the urge to please other people because they’ve learnt to like themselves for who they are, I think that they buy products that are far from being artificial or unnecessary. A lot of them are concerned with buying organic, buying healthy, buying for fun but their purchases are carefully thought out, and they also buy things for themselves. Now that’s a real challenge for a woman: buying for someone else without forgetting to buy for herself!

3. Do you think that the image of women in advertising has evolved over the last 15 years?

What has changed is that women are lankier, more masculine, even, as if it to mark themselves apart from passive femininity; women’s bodies are also more exposed. But producing sensuality in order to be liked or masculinity in order to gain revenge, that’s compensating behaviour. Such dual compensation makes the role of women swing from the super sexy girl to the high-flying superwoman.
Society brings about a sort of diversion from what women really want deep down. This diversion generates dissatisfaction and a sense of guilt amongst a lot of women.
We might have hoped that after the feminist years, women would have the possibility to be closer to their real nature. But no, more and more, the image driven by advertising encourages the object-woman who’s a visual turn-on and the active woman whose inner life and sensitivity are silenced. Women in magazines are sexier, fashion makes them look their best, they can get as many facelifts as they like and h hide the years… It’s slim consolation in contrast to the lack of self-esteem that a major part of the planet’s female population suffers from!

4. What should companies change to make their products more attractive to women?

Companies could:

® Give more thought to the real lives of women: sell more ethically because these are the woman who are raising and feeding the future generations
® Women want to talk and meet people, they like to talk about life, to invest in relationships: think about the heart of women and sell more sensitivity to them, more links

5. Do you think that society has a tendency to be predominantly feminine?

If that was the case, the world would be a more human place! But that’s not the case! Being predominantly feminine means thinking about BEING rather than HAVING! And developing our sensitivity, our humanism, our charisma. It’s about seizing opportunities that offer changes here and now in order to establish fairer relationships between men and women, and more generally, between human beings.